FAQs About Car Accidents
Getting behind the wheel is more than just knowing how to drive. It’s important for all drivers to know some of the basic facts of the road and what happens in the event of a car accident.
At the J. Gonzalez Law Firm, we strive to keep our clients and the general public informed about essential information regarding car wrecks, so that they are aware of how to handle the situation. This list should not be considered to be a comprehensive list as the situations surrounding every single car accident vary. Contact the offices of J. Gonzalez Law Firm for experienced lawyers who can help iron out the details of your particular situation.
Do I need a lawyer for a car wreck?
Although you are not legally bound to hire a lawyer, it can be in your best interests, whether you are the injured party or at-fault driver. A qualified accident lawyer can help you settle a claim, handling negotiations with your insurance company, help you deal with paperwork from the insurer, and support you in cases where you are being sued or going to court.
Do I need to speak with the other driver’s insurance company?
Avoid speaking with the insurance company representing the other driver. You have the right to refuse to speak with any insurance agent that may contact you. Insurance claim reps will attempt to obtain information from you that can hurt your claim.
The insurance company may also attempt to settle with you before you have had a chance to speak with an attorney about your injuries. If you accept their settlement offer, you will not be able to pursue additional compensation. Do not sign any paperwork without first speaking with your insurance company or a lawyer.
How can I make a successful accident claim?
In the state of Texas, making a successful car crash claim depends on liability and damages. Factors to take into consideration include: the at-fault driver, injuries, damage to property, negligence of driver, and the ability to prove the damages were caused by the accident.
How long does it take to resolve a case?
Again, because every situation is different, the time frame for each individual injury claim can vary from a few weeks, to months, and even years if it is a complex case.
The timeline of a personal injury claim will depend on how quickly you accept a settlement offer. Cases with severe personal injuries usually take longer as it may take time to understand the full extent of the injuries. Do not accept a settlement until the damages are known.
How much can I expect in my settlement?
Every case is unique and there is no definitive means to determine the amount of a settlement for each individual case. The amount will vary depending on the severity of the injuries and damages.
A just settlement will include medical treatment costs, repair to damaged property, and may include compensation for pain and suffering, as well as time out of work due to crash-related injuries. Working with the experienced team of J. Gonzalez Law Firm will help you to obtain a fair settlement offer.
I didn’t feel any pain after the accident and refused medical attention. It’s been a few days and now I am in pain. What can I do?
Often times, car accident victims do not feel any pain until several days after the collision. Regardless of how long after the accident, and how minor you believe the injuries to be, it is in your best interest to see your doctor.
Continue treatment until your doctor releases you. You’ll want to maintain a log of these visits to help prove your claim. Even if you did not initially complain or receive medical attention at the time of the accident, there is still the potential for you to obtain compensation.
I was in a car accident. What information should I collect?
The first step to take—assuming you are not severely injured and unable to move—is to talk with the other drivers involved in the accident and collect names, contact information, driver’s license information, and insurance information. Even if the driver of the car is not the owner, it is still important to record the same information as well.
If you are able to take down notes, then include license plate numbers, specifics about the car(s) involved (i.e. year, model, make, etc.), and take pictures if possible. If there are witnesses willing to provide you information, then take down their contact information and statements of what they saw.
Also, get the contact information of any police officer that responds to the crash and takes down a report. Get the incident or report number as well.
Is Texas a no-fault insurance state?
No, in the state of Texas, drivers are required to have the appropriate insurance coverage before getting behind the driver’s wheel. Texas is considered an at-fault state, which means that individuals who get into accidents and are determined to have been at fault, may be held liable for damages along with their insurer.
Should I accept the settlement my insurance company offers?
Be wary of insurance companies offering a quick settlement as this may be an attempt to have you settle for less than what your claim is worth. If you accept the settlement, you will not be able to pursue any other compensation.
Be aware that you are under no legal requirement to accept the first settlement offered, especially if you believe it is not adequate to fully cover all of your injuries and damages.
Should I file a police report?
It is in your best interest to contact the police immediately after an accident. Even if you feel that damages to your car were minor, having a police report on hand can help you make a solid case with your insurance company and the courts. The police will also examine the other driver for drug or alcohol use, which can play an important factor in your injury claim.
Also, never settle with an at-fault driver at the time of the accident as this can negatively affect your claim.
Should I try to collect any evidence after my accident?
After an accident, you probably aren’t in the state of mind to begin recording every detail about the incident, but it’s important that you try to collect as much evidence as possible. Notes and photos can be crucial pieces of evidence to help you obtain compensation from damages.
If possible, consider taking photos of road conditions, the cars involved in the accident, road signs, and skid marks. As previously mentioned, take down notes about the other parties involved. If you are injured, make sure to attend every doctor’s appointment and maintain a log about the healing process, including photographs.
What are some of the common causes of car accidents in Texas?
The Texas Department of Transportation’s lists failure to control a vehicle’s speed as the most frequent reason for car accidents. Failure to complete evasive maneuvers is the second leading cause and both reasons suggest that many accidents that take place could have been prevented.
What if the other driver doesn’t have car insurance?
Unfortunately, not every driver on the road is insured. Even if the at-fault party is underinsured or does not have coverage at all, you can still obtain compensation for your injuries and damages. However, you will need the experience of the J. Gonzalez Law Firm attorneys to help you deal with the process.
What types of compensation am I able to obtain if I am injured in a car wreck?
Every situation is different and every insurance company works in a different manner so it is important for your legal team to understand the accident, the complexities of the law, and the rights of the injured party in order to obtain maximum compensation. If you have been injured in an accident, you can potentially obtain compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Cost of property damage and loss
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
Who can be held legally responsible for the accident?
The at-fault driver is usually the person held legally responsible for the accident. However, in cases of crashes involving a commercial vehicle, various parties can be held responsible. The trucking company or employer, insurance companies, and drivers may be obligated to pay for your pain and suffering. In order to obtain maximum legal recover, you’ll want the support of a high-quality legal team to help you prove your case.
Who should I contact after an accident?
After the car wreck, you will want to immediately call 911 or the police. Once you have received medical treatment, obtained the necessary information from other parties involved, and noted down information the police provide, you will want to call your car insurance agent.
Even if the car accident was minor and did not cause much damage, you will want to file an accident report with your insurer to begin the process of reimbursement for related medical expenses and vehicle repair.
J. Gonzalez Law Firm is your dedicated personal injury lawyers for car wrecks in the Rio Grande Valley.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car wreck because of somebody else’s negligence, then contact us today to speak with a dedicated team of lawyers that will get you the compensation you deserve.
Our offices in McAllen, Rio Grande City, and Brownsville means that help is never too far. Get the support you need and the expertise you deserve with J. Gonzalez Law Firm.